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Council reviews static spending plans for library, museum, band

Airport runway project is planned

Visitors to the Fort Dodge Public Library and the Blanden Memorial Art Museum would not notice much different in either place if their proposed budgets are approved by the Fort Dodge City Council.

The spending plan for the Fort Dodge Regional Airport includes money for some runway work, but leaves day-to-day operations unchanged.

The City Council on Monday reviewed proposed 2020-2021 budgets for those facilities plus the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Karl L. King Municipal Band. The budgets are for the fiscal year that begin July 1. However, state law requires cities to have their budgets completed by mid-March, so the council has been working on spending plans since December.

The proposed budget for the library is $769,000. That’s up from the current $736,200.

The city government pays for the library building and staffing, but books and other materials are purchased by the library’s foundation, which is a private entity.

Library Director Rita Schmidt told the council that last year more than 18,000 people attended 331 programs held at the library.

The proposed airport budget is $653,113. That’s up $39,609 from the current budget of $613,504.

But property taxes aren’t the sole source of money for the airport. Rhonda Chambers, the director of aviation, told the council that 41 percent of the proposed budget, or $273,113, will come from property taxes. The remaining $380,000, or 59 percent, will come from revenue generated at the airport.

The airport has a separate capital improvement fund which gets its money from federal and state grants, with a small amount of local matching funds. The proposed capital improvement fund is $787,513, with $721,513 coming from grants.

That fund will pay for a $666,000 runway emulsion project. Chambers said emulsion is a like a lotion for pavement that will extend its life.

The capital improvement fund also includes $121,513 to renovate the building where the airport maintenance equipment is kept.

The Convention & Visitors Bureau gets its money from the hotel-motel tax, a 7 percent levy added to lodging bills in the city.The revenue from that tax is divided up several ways , but the bureau has historically received a little over half of it.

The proposed budget for the bureau is $289,214. That’s up from the current $250,000.

The biggest increase in the budget is $33,000 for a vehicle with special markings that bureau personnel would take to trade shows.

The proposed budget for the Blanden Memorial Art Museum is $236,200. The current budget is $220,350.

Much like the arrangement at the library, the city pays for the museum building and the staffing, while the private Blanden Charitable Foundation pays for the programming and exhibits.

The proposed budget for the Karl L. King Municipal Band will remain unchanged at $38,000.